In a perfect legal system with no outside pressures, Derek Chauvin probably walks on everything except perhaps manslaughter, and the other three cops are acquitted of everything. Anybody concerned about the violence such an outcome might bring should be spreading the word: Chauvin is innocent until proven guilty and he’s got some strong defenses to the first and second degree murder charges. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.com:
Below is my column in USA Today on the approaching trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the alleged murder of George Floyd. Thus far, many in the media have failed to shoulder their own burden to discuss the countervailing evidence in the case. Indeed, there is a real danger of a cascading failure in the case where a loss in the Chauvin case could bring down the cases against all four officers. This potential domino effect is the result of making the three other cases dependent on the base murder/manslaughter charge against Chauvin.
Here is the column:
The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd is scheduled to begin March 29 after the difficult task of selecting a jury. The difficulty is not in finding a jury that reflects the community but finding one that does not. And it became even more difficult Monday when Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement in a civil suit brought by Floyd’s family.
One juror had been dismissed by then after he admitted that he feared he or his family would be harmed if Chauvin was acquitted. Another was dismissed after saying property damage during Black Lives Matter protests might have been necessary to achieve justice. Their problem was that they reflected their community all too well.
Judging from the encampment around the courthouse with barbed wire, fencing and security, authorities are aware of the potential for violence. The greatest threat, however, could be found in how the prosecution has structured the case — and the danger of a cascading failure of not just the Chauvin case but of the cases against all four officers.